Tri County Report For March 12th, 2019

The suspect in a New Castle convenience store robbery is behind bars.  Kristen Scully was arrested yesterday on robbery and other charges.  Police say Scully held up the Last Minute Mart on Montgomery Avenue last week.  Surveillance camera images helped generate several tips that led to her arrest.

The New Castle City Police Department is mourning the death of a retired officer.  K-9 Champ, a dual-purpose K-9 certified in narcotic detection and patrol, passed away Friday from natural causes at his home with his handler Sergeant John Colella and his family.  Champ assisted police in more than 300 incidents before retiring due to health issues in April of last year.

The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is almost two cents more expensive this week at $2.69per gallon, according to Triple-A’s  East Central’s Gas Price Report. In New Castle prices are averaging 2.59 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.67. On the week the national gas price has been steadily increasing for the last three weeks, currently sitting at 2.47. A year ago prices in the area were at 2.79 a gallon.

Officials say Pittsburgh police are preparing for the fallout of the trial for a former East Pittsburgh cop accused of shooting and killing Antwon Rose.  Jury selection begins in Harrisburg today in the trial of Michael Rosfeld, who shot and killed the teen as he ran from a traffic stop last year.  A police spokesperson says they are preparing for protests similar to what Pittsburgh experienced last summer.

WKBN-TV is reporting there was a fire Monday night in Mercer County at Combined Systems Incorporated in Green Township. Several fire departments responded to fight it. According to the company’s website, Combined Systems makes products for global defense and law enforcement, specializing in equipment such as riot gear and flash bangs, along with handcuffs and restraints.

A state lawmaker is introducing a bill he feels could save Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants.  Representative Tom Mehaffie says the Keep Powering Pennsylvania Act would add nuclear energy to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards program.  That would allow nuclear power to be incentivized like solar and wind renewable energy.  The bill comes at a 500-million dollar price tag, with Mehaffie adding that the cost of doing nothing is four-point-six billion.  Those against the plan say Three Mile Island has been bailed out numerous times and still isn’t profitable.

A man formerly from Freedom is acquitted of the most serious rape charges against him.  A jury found 25-year-old Zachary Dinell not guilty Friday of felony rape of an unconscious victim for the incident last June.  Dinell was found guilty of sending nude photos of the woman to his ex-girlfriend.

A DUI checkpoint is planned for Western Pennsylvania this weekend.  State police will conduct the sobriety check in a high-DUI area from Friday to Monday in connection with the Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.  Troopers are not specifying where that checkpoint will be.

A study is being approved to see about a potential hyperloop transportation system in Pennsylvania.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the PA Turnpike Commission approved a four-year contract last week for up to two-million dollars for consultant AECOM to look into it.  Developers say hyperloop passengers can speed along at more than five-hundred miles per hour in pods moving through low-pressure tubes.  The study will specifically examine the possibility of a route from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and several others.

There could be a halt in recycling service for special items in Sharon.  City Manager Bob Fiscus tells the Sharon Herald that the city’s partner for recycling of electronics and other household hazardous wastes issued a notice of a rate increase last month.  Fiscus tells the newspaper that the city was initially told that service would be discontinued if the increase wasn’t accepted, but that hasn’t happened yet.  He says the city solicitor is looking into whether Environment Coordination Services and Recycling can legally raise their rates in the middle of a contract.